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Gamez, Part 1: Family rides out tornado in closet

By Bill Sanders

Part two of this story.

GRANBURY, Texas (May 17, 2013) — Beatrice Gamez said her husband, Lucio, is “a bit of a joker.”

So when he first yelled that he saw a funnel cloud bearing down on their home at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday, she thought, “Yeah, right.”

When he hollered a second time, she knew he was serious.

“We were watching the hail from the front window, and he had gone to the side window and saw the funnel,” she said. “When he insisted he wasn’t kidding, we ran to the closet, grabbed a mattress, and started praying to the Virgin Mary, to God, that we’d be OK.”

Five minutes later, everything was quiet. The Gamezes and their three children had survived, and they thought everything was fine.

Until they looked around.

“I guess the house is technically still standing,” Beatrice said. “The roof was gone, and the windows were gone on one side.”

They were stunned to see that their neighbors’ house on one side was “totally gone.” And the one on the other side was “mostly gone.”

On Friday morning, Beatrice didn’t get emotional telling the terrifying tale. She teared up, though, when reliving the euphoria of 13 years ago, when the family first moved into their Habitat for Humanity house.

“Oh, my goodness, it was amazing,” she said, pausing to compose herself. “It was our first house, it was brand new, and we built it — built something incredible.”

Like all Habitat homeowners, the Gamezes put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity while building their house with Habitat for Humanity of Hood County.

Until they can make a long-term plan for rebuilding, the family is staying at a local hotel, courtesy of Lucio’s boss at Granbury Excavating.